This dare is a little bit different for me. As part of our journey out of the valley, I had to have this conversation with my husband. I had to ask him what things I was doing or saying that were troublesome to him. He was honest with me, even though I didn’t necessarily believe him. I mean, I did deep down, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to really look at how I had behaved. I didn’t want to see the things that I had done wrong, that contributed to our time in the valley. But it was important. I knew my words were sometimes hurtful. Sometimes I was purposely rude because I wanted to push his buttons. Why would a wife who loves her man want to do that? I rationalized in my head that I had to do something. During the valley, he had shut down. He wouldn’t talk. As a woman who likes to talk and feels a connection when there is back and forth communication going on, it was really difficult for me to deal with and understand why my husband wouldn’t or couldn’t. It made no sense to me. You can’t make someone talk, but I tried my best. I pushed every button in an attempt to get him to talk, to get a reaction.
Did it work?
Sometimes, but not with the reaction or answers that I would have liked. What I found through lots of prayer and soul searching was that I wasn’t just doing those things in the valleys. I had been acting that way through the wonderful years on the mountain tops. I was testing, questioning, pushing buttons and yes, sometimes talking down to him. We were both responsible for it. We both were guilty. There never is just one person at fault. A marriage doesn’t start to crumble solely because of one person, just as it cannot be restored completely by one person.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and at around them?
- How does your behavior affect your mate’s sense of worth and self-esteem?
- Would your spouse say you are a blessing or that you are condescending and embarrassing?
In your marriage, there are 3 guidelines that will help protect your marriage from rude talk and behavior.
1. Guard the Golden Rule- Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated.
2. No double standards. Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and co-workers.
3. Honor requests. Consider what your spouse already asked you to do or not do. If in doubt, then ask again.
Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him/her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.
At the end of the day, answer these questions:
1. What things did your spouse point out about it that need your attention?
2. How did you handle hearing it?
3. What do you plan to do to improve these areas?
Congratulations! You have completed Day 5! Tomorrow’s dare is Love is not irritable.